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20 Insects You Didn’t Know You Were Scared Of (Get Ready to Get the Creeps)

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Most of us aren’t huge fans of the crawling, biting, and stinging members of the animal kingdom. Insects of all sorts give me the creeps at least – here are 20 insects that you probably didn’t know about but soon will scared of once you’ve learned about their scary capabilities!

1. Bot Fly

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Commonly found in Central and South America, the bot fly is notorious for its unsettling reproductive method. The female bot fly lays eggs on a host animal, and the larvae burrow under the skin to feed, often causing painful lesions.

2. Bullet Ant

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Known for delivering one of the most painful stings in the insect world, the bullet ant is found in the rainforests of Central and South America. The pain from its sting is often compared to being shot—hence its name.

3. Giant Water Bug

Toe-Biter
By photo taken by flickr user noisecollusion – flickr, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1898713

These large insects, found in waters across the Americas, can grow up to 4 inches long. They are powerful predators, with a bite that can deliver a painful toxin to both insects and fish.

4. Tarantula Hawk

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A wasp with a frightening method of reproduction, the tarantula hawk paralyzes tarantulas with its sting, then lays an egg on the spider. The hatched larva will eat the still-living tarantula from the inside out.

5. Japanese Giant Hornet

By Alpsdake – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=21275572

This hornet can grow up to 2 inches long and has a venom that can dissolve human tissue. Its sting is excruciatingly painful and can be fatal to people allergic to their venom.

6. Deathstalker Scorpion

Deathstalker
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Despite its small size (around 3 inches long), the deathstalker scorpion’s venom is extremely potent, making it one of the most dangerous scorpions in the world, especially found in North Africa and the Middle East.

7. Africanized Honey Bee

bee
Image by James Wainscoat via Unsplash

Also known as “killer bees,” these insects are highly aggressive. Their venom is not more dangerous than regular honeybees, but they attack in large numbers, which can be deadly.

8. Human Botfly

human botfly
By Geoff Gallice from Gainesville, FL, USA – Human botfly, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=28926797

Similar to its cousin, this botfly is found in regions of Central and South America and lays eggs on mosquitoes. The larvae then transfer to humans where they burrow under the skin, causing painful boils.

9. Goliath Birdeater Spider

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Though technically a spider and not an insect, the Goliath birdeater is worth mentioning for its size alone—its leg span can reach up to 11 inches. Found in South America, it’s the largest spider in the world by mass.

10. Asian Giant Hornet

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The largest hornet species in the world, the Asian giant hornet’s sting injects a potent venom that can cause allergic reactions and, in rare cases, death.

11. Camel Spider

camel spider
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Also known as wind scorpions or sun spiders, camel spiders became infamous during the Iraq War. Though they are neither true spiders nor scorpions, their size (up to 6 inches) and speed make them formidable.

12. Vampire Moth

moth
By Ilia Ustyantsev – Calyptra thalictri – Vampire moth – Совка василистниковая, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=67455442

Found in Europe and Asia, this moth has evolved a taste for blood. The males use their sharp, elongated proboscis to pierce the skin of vertebrates to feed.

13. Conehead Termite

By Bernard DUPONT from FRANCE – Termites (Nasutitermes corniger), CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=40796916

Found primarily in Florida, these termites are aggressive and can cause extensive damage to wooden structures in a relatively short period.

14. Brazilian Wandering Spider

Brazilian wandering spider - danger poisonous Phoneutria Ctenidae
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Often cited as the world’s most venomous spider, this spider’s bite can be lethal. It is also known for its unsettling habit of wandering into densely populated areas.

15. Tsetse Fly

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This fly is infamous in Africa for spreading sleeping sickness, a disease that can be fatal if not treated. Its bite is often unnoticed at first but can be deadly.

16. Fire Ant

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Native to South America but now found in the southern U.S., fire ants are aggressive and their bites can cause severe allergic reactions.

17. Kissing Bug

Kissing Bug
By Heigen Villacarlos – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=119916233

Named for its tendency to bite the faces of humans, the kissing bug is a major vector for Chagas disease, which can cause long-term cardiac damage.

18. Siafu (African Driver Ant)

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In swarms, these ants can overpower animals as large as rats and are known to consume everything in their path.

19. Cicada Killer Wasp

cicada killer wasp
By Insects Unlocked – Cicada Killer Wasp (Crabroninae, Sphecius speciosus), CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=61276056

While generally harmless to humans, the sheer size of this wasp (up to 2 inches long) and its dramatic burrowing activities where it drags cicadas into holes can be alarming.

20. Atlas Moth

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One of the largest moths in the world, with a wingspan of up to 12 inches, the Atlas moth doesn’t have a scary bite or sting, but its sheer size can be quite intimidating.

Insects You Didn’t Know You Were Scared Of: Conclusion

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The insect family is the biggest in all of the animal kingdom – but they often get overlooked because they tend to be on the scarier or creepier side. That being said, all of these terrifying insects play a crucial role in our world’s ecosystem – so even if we’re scared of them, we would be lost without them!

Thank you for reading this article about these insects you didn’t know you were scared of! For more posts like this, take a look here:

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